Victory Party and On the Road Honking for Huckabee



Mike Huckabee at the Victory CelebrationThe Victory Party on Thursday was packed with partiers at above-the-Fire-Marshall-limits in the biggest ball room in the Embassy Suites in the Des Moines.

Lotsa of Happy Huckabee Ho-downers. There were even adult beverages at the event. It was a young crowd looking for change.

Everybody loves a winner. The Hucka-Boom.


The Diva, The Dude calling caucus goers

from the Des Moines Huckabee Headquarters

Mike Huckabee was quick to give credit to others who worked the phones and did the heavy lifting of lit drops.

The Penta-Posse was proud to play a small role.

After the celebration Your Business Blogger kissed Charmaine good-buy for two days as she got on the Hucka-Bus headed for the Hucka-Boeing to fly out to New Hampshire.

We packed up the Hucka-Truck and headed out for Manchester, NH.


The Penta-Posse at the podium

Alert Readers will remember that the Hucka-Truck could have been named the UpChuck-aTruck on the drive out to Des Moines…

The ‘Hucka-prefix’ is fast loosing its appeal. Huckabee the candidate is sometimes described as short tempered. But it seems to this casual observer to be an exaggeration. He is proud of his surname and has grown up hearing every permutation that detractors can unload. Visit any group of third-graders on a play ground. (Or a presidential campaign. Hard to tell the difference.) The name-calling really doesn’t bother him.

The Mike Huckabee Hucka-fix is to laugh-off and ignore personal insults. I don’t know how he does it.

He is, well, presidential.


So the Penta-Posse was packed in the monster SUV and we traveled over 1200 miles across country. Friends wrote “Honk 4 Huckabee” with shoe polish on our back window. And we got Hucka-honked for two days. And we talked with Huckabee supporters at nearly every gas stop; there was a lot of gas guzzling.

(The Chevy monster truck actually gets better mileage than my old Corvette. Except now I can haul 5 kids and kit. The only thing the ‘Vette could carry was a large case for my 8-track tapes…)

Our route took us past Charmaine’s old stomping grounds in Buffalo and the Adirondack Park where she saved a life. Buffalo was where she learned to ski as a wee-one. Her dad would carry her up a hill and — gently — push her down the slope.

Downhill ever since.


Thank you (foot)notes:

We drove at high speed in more or less in a caravan of campaign workers across Interstate 80 and 90. Some Hucka-travelers, some Obama, some Edwards and others.

But there was a candidate not represented on the road. Not a single bumper sticker:

Mitt Romney.

I would suppose all his staff flew. And not down a highway.

Charmaine worked the Campaign Spin Room and Green Room at the debates at Saint Anselm College.


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8 Responses

  1. kalynne pudner says:

    I love how you say you kissed Charmaine “good-buy.” Since most of my days as a fifth-wheel on the Wyoming Romney train were spent shopping, John can certainly identify!

    Good luck in NH to my favorite “Huck-sters.”

  2. kalynne pudner says:

    I love how you say you kissed Charmaine “good-buy.” Since most of my days as a fifth-wheel on the Wyoming Romney train were spent shopping, John can certainly identify!

    Good luck in NH to my favorite “Huck-sters.”

  3. John Pudner says:

    Governor Mitt Romney defeated Fred Thompson 67% to 25% in Wyoming today to claim the first Delegates to the National Convention.

    I appreciate the opportunity the campaign gave me to manage the Wyoming effort these last few months.

    I hope the huge margin of victory gives extra momentum to Governor Romney in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Nevada. While other candidates are competitive here or there, Gov. Romney continues to be the only candidate with strong support in every state – whether that support translates into a close 2nd place in Iowa or a blowout win in Wyoming.

    Now I’m going back to my volunteer role as a member of his Faith and Values Steering Committee — so email back if I can get credit for adding you to our list of supporters. (My Democratic friends receiving

    this, just don’t work as hard against us – we are all friends J )

    I know I have dozens of unanswered voicemails and emails from the last 48 hours as I drove all around Wyoming trying to pin down every extra National Delegate vote I could – so I apologize to all of you!

    But let me give you a snapshot of how exciting the day was:

    How the day played out into such a big win for Governor Romney!

    I really meant to simply be a volunteer for Mitt Romney this year, but I developed a love for Caucuses and Conventions in my early years in Virginia, and couldn’t resist when Wyoming moved its county conventions up to January 5. Conventions give a special opportunity to forge lasting friendships, and I am proud to claim some great Wyoming friends.

    Today got off to a great start when I was able to tell a NY Times reporter at a convention that Tammy Johnson had been elected the first Delegate to the National Convention (remember this week Iowa only elected the people at caucuses who will elect the National Convention Delegates later).

    The day got better and better as Counties throughout Wyoming held their Conventions. Governor Romney won several easy races, as well as some hard-fought victories over Fred Thompson and the other candidates.

    Mary Matalin had done a great job of recruiting some superb candidates for Fred Thompson, telling the press on Thursday that “The response has been terrific.”

    By 3 p.m. MST (5 p.m. EST) we had wrapped up majority of the Delegates, but the win got even more lopsided after a very exciting win in Fremont County.

    Ironically it was there that Lois Herbst announced that George Allen, my first political boss from the late 1980s, had called her on behalf of Fred Thompson to ask that she run for National Delegate.

    I got the opportunity to talk to Lois and tell her how thrilled I was that she knew George. We knew we already had a couple of tough opponents in Fremont, but Lois seemed the most formidable because she had been the Delegate elected in the past by wide margins.

    Dennis Tippets, the Romney candidate, had never run for Delegate before, but he had a great background and was an excellent worker.

    We thought it was a uphill battle, but State Senator Eli Bebout delivered a great nominating speech and he hard work by many volunteers kept the race close through three ballots – until it was just Dennis vs. Lois for the final spot.

    By that time we had been working the convention floor for more than 8 hours and we made one final push to keep any of our people from leaving before the 4th ballot and trying to win over supporters of the people whose candidates had lost.

    Finally the ballots came in and the Chair announced, “This was a very, very close race – only one vote separated the final two candidates…Dennis Tippets is the National Delegate from Fremont County.”

    I know we would have won the state by a pretty wide margin even if that vote had gone the other way, but I have rarely been as excited at a political event as when that last vote went to Dennis sending him to Minneapolis for the convention and propelling us to our final margin of 67% of the Delegates elected that day to the 25% Thompson received for 2nd place.

    Mitt Romney would make a great President — now that I’m a volunteer again let me know if you want to join me in supporting him.

    John Pudner, Campaign Manager

    Wyoming Romney for President


  4. Joe Knippenberg says:

    Dear Dr. Yoest,

    We met at a Claremont reception a couple of years ago. You were live-blogging the APSA in D.C., and I think we talked about blogging. (I blog at No Left Turns.)

    If Governor Huckabee has the occasion to be in Atlanta in the run-up to February 5th, we’d love to host him at Oglethorpe University. We have a variety of venues available (and since I’m making this invitation with the support of our President, I think I have access to any of them). The Oglethorpe campus is on Atlanta’s northside, convenient to a major civil aviation airport (DeKalb-Peachtree Airport is about 2 miles away). Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is a 30-45 minute drive, depending upon traffic.

    This past May (after school was out), we were approached by the Giuliani campaign and offered a room as a venue for an appearance by the Mayor. Largely through virtual word-of-mouth, we attracted 250 people on short notice (packing the room the campaign wanted). All the local network affiliates covered the event, as did the Atlanta JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION and the New York TIMES. I blogged about it, as did an acquaintance who writes for Peach Pundit (the most heavily-read Georgia political blog, started by RedState’s Erick Erickson).

    In other words, I think we can provide an enthusiastic, respectful, and diverse audience (not only from the usual sources, but also from the homeschool networks my wife assiduously cultivates), solid media coverage, and easy transportation access. Needless to say, we can be flexible about the timing.

    Best wishes for success on the campaign trail,

    Joe Knippenberg

    Professor of Politics

    Oglethorpe University

    Adjunct Fellow

    Ashbrook Center for Public Affars

    Ashland University

    P.S. The latter two numbers are more reliable at the moment, since I’m on sabbatical this semester and only occasionally in the office.

  5. Jim Custer says:


    This may be the most direct manner to get a message to you and to emphasize to all who read your BLOG one of the key points with the FAIRTAX and the coming Social Security Crisis.

    If nothing changes with the SSTx system then the teens, twenty, and thirty somethings may be hit with one of the largest tax increases in history, while the Baby Boom, etc generations will be hit with benefit reductions, thus a approaching revenue crisis in about 10-18 years.

    With my apologies to J&J, we all know you cannot successfully treat a patient who is hemorrhaging blood with a series of band-aids; surgery and sutures will be necessary.

    Replacing the current tax system with the FAIRTAX system will generate tax revenue from people not currently paying in to the Ponzi system we call Social Security, thereby negating any need to increase the tax stress on the younger generations as well as putting off or eliminating the need to radically cut benefits for current and future recipients.

    Thus, anyone and everyone who would purchase a retail product, be they legal, illegal, tourist, non- resident alien, law abider or law breaker would be paying into our tax system as a whole, and in to our social security system in particular.

    If Mike’s Campaign would emphasize this additional benefit of the FAIRTAX, he would gain the attention of younger, first time voters.

    It would also get the attention of thoughtful retirees and those nearing retirement as a way of securing their income stream, since that would be one way of dealing with the status co crowd.

    There is more to expand on this area, but you can see where my thinking is going.

    So like your Uncle K, I share the ideas, and you take them from there.

    Also, we need to know who to contact in the Georgia campaign to add a few additional volunteers.

    May see you in SC.

    Blessings and safe travels.

    Jim Custer, MAS

  6. JH says:

    HI there I am so glad I found you blog. You can quote my comments I have no objections…

    I gave my concerns on the comment line at the new headquarters in Little Rock. However I am not sure that will get a very quick response.

    Several Catholics , I have talked too are very concerned about the level of visible Catholic Outreach. Especially since it appears that Catholics are sending signals they are interested. I am very interested in not seeing the term “Evangelical voter” in every 9 out of ten articles I see on Huckabee. It is all giving the appearance that he has not appeal outside that base.

    Now I am and several others are doing what what we can. If you google “Catholic and Huckabee” chances are you see my blog on the front pages as well as several others each day.

    However, it would be nice if we had a Catholics for Huckabee National Committee formed and quick. We need some doing Catholic outreach and promotion a good bit.

    Let me give you a few examples.

    (1)THe Governor in victory speech quoted G K Chesterton in his Speech. The Catholic paying attention and especially COnservative Catholics went gaga and all happy. It was noted on Catholic Blogs. However No one in the media was alerted to the Catholic overtones of that and perhaps just perhaps Huckabee was showing in a very clever way a outreach to Conservative Catholics. At least the story could have been encouraged

    (2)The very anti Corner blog gave a nice review of a speech that Mike Gave in NH. HE appears he was wowing the crowd with talk of the doctrine of subsidiarity. Catholic that want to mesh their Conservativsm with the Catholic Social Justice Ethic love that stuff. However it is not getting out there to us. This is how I handled it here on my blog

    (3)The excellent interviews that he has been giving to Catholic Online are great. SOmeone needs to be circulating them more and promoting it

    (4) On the largest Catholic Network EWTN on the show “THe World Over” Mike got pretty good publicity. It reairs tonight at 11pm , Here is a review

    Word needs to get out in the press and Catholic venues. I would like to google Catholic and Huckabee in Google News and actually see something besides that faux Hagee visit Controversy. I tried to counter that too as did several other bloggers as you can during the time period that happened on my Catholic for Huckabee threads.

    Now I know that a ton of Mike’s staff is Catholic.

    However some of us wonder why obvious opportunites have been missed this year. Such as the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast that is a HUGE EVENT of mostly conservative Catholics. Or the Knights of Columbus Convention where in a very under reported News Conference the Vatican Secretary of State took a swipe a the Democrat party. WHat about the largest Gala Event in American Catholicism the Smith Dinner in New York where Prime Minister Blair was at as well as many important Catholic figures and politicans.

    All could have given Mike Catholic Bona fides and tons of press. The thing is Mike already has Catholic bona fides by his records and position. We are just concerned that we start seeing that more in the press.

    THese are just some examples

    Now I realize that the Huckabee was on a shoe string budget this year and Iowa is the focus. I don’t want to sound too critical. I know the reality of this campaigns. However having Mike speak at a Catholic event or arena would be so good now. Whether it is the Univ of Steubenville , The Univ of Dallas, or goodness even a Political Science class at Notre Dame would be something I would take.

    Anyway those are my thoughts. I am sorry if I sound frustrated but the campaign has gotten some excitement among Catholics and I think the advantage to reach out in more of an aggressive manner is being missed.

    Anyway love your blog. Good Luck. We are waiting to be told what to do in Louisiana.


    Tell Mike tomorrow to keep his mouth shut about football. That is not helping 🙂 His comments after LSU lost to Arkansas and how great that was is not going to help us down here 🙂 Especially if we lose tommorow



  7. Grandma says:

    “There were even adult beverages…”

    Sorry to hear that

  8. Jack says:


    Yep, there was booze. But the press were the only ones drinking…

    The bar was not open. And expensive. Soft Drinks for the Penta-Posse and Charmaine and Your Business Blogger were $2.50 each.

    We blew a Benjamin.

    As is well known, room rentals are a front for hotels, the real money is in food and beverage sales…

    Mike Huckabee does not drink alcohol.

    Thanks for commenting!